Morocco fisheries statistics: production, consumption and trade

Morocco produces some 1.4 million tonnes of seafood per year. European pilchard is a particularly important species for Moroccan fisheries, accounting for 62% of capture production. Morocco is the world’s 18th largest and Africa’s top seafood exporter with 524 959 tonnes exported in 2016, worth a total of USD 1.8 billion. Morocco’s exports are comprised mainly of frozen and canned products which account for some 78% of export value (Office des Changes, 2016). In 2015, the processing sector consisted of some 409 registered companies, 45% of which were in the freezing sub-sector, 12% were fresh producers and 11% were identified as canneries.

In 2015, the European Union (EU) absorbed 41% of Morocco’s exports in volume terms and 61% by value (Office des Changes, 2016). Close to half of the EU’s imports from Morocco are destined for the Spanish market. According to the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA), Morocco ranked as the 4th largest extra-EU supplier by value (EUR 1.23 billion) and 5th by volume (292 069 tonnes) in 2016. Morocco accounted for 27% of extra-EU imports of cephalopods and 24% of small pelagics in the same year.

The National Food Safety Office (ONSSA) is Morocco’s regulatory agency responsible for food safety issues. ONSSA serves as the focal point for the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS).

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